Jane E. Nelson
Class of 2015
Jane E. Nelson is an executive with more than twenty years of experience in the specialty retail industry. Prior to her retirement from CPI Corp., Ms. Nelson served as a member of the Executive Committee, led the Human Resources Department and was responsible for all aspects of CPI’s legal work. CPI, a former NYSE company, established the mass market portrait photography model, growing from a single portrait studio to more than 2500 locations throughout North America. The Company also engaged in other retail businesses, including photo finishing, copy services and custom framing of home decor.
During her tenure at CPI, Ms. Nelson reported to, counseled and led special projects for five consecutive CEOs. Working with more than twenty-five directors, she participated in all Board and Committee meetings, worked with the Chairmen of the Board and Board Committees and counseled Directors. She joined other executives in strategic planning to diversify the Company’s lines of business, products and geographic presence.
Ms. Nelson’s leadership of the Company’s Human Resources Department included a period in which a major acquisition resulted in doubling the number of Company employees and locations. Her judgment, planning and communication skills facilitated the integration of cultures and consolidation of management functions. She focused on problem prevention through the development of customized materials for managers and regular personal involvement in training and counseling of managers.
Ms. Nelson is an expert in securities, marketing, intellectual property, employment, corporate governance, commercial contracts, regulatory matters, real estate and litigation. Prior to joining CPI, she was with the firm of Husch & Eppenberger (now Husch Blackwell) in St. Louis. She also has experience in the public sector, having served as Assistant Legal and Legislative Counsel to the Honorable Kit Bond during his second term as Governor of Missouri and in the South Dakota Governor’s Cabinet as Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Ms. Nelson’s record of civic involvement includes service as Chair of the Express Scripts Foundation, officer and director of the Parents as Teachers National Center, member of the Friends Committee of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Director of Focus St. Louis. A native of South Dakota, Ms. Nelson earned a B.A. in political science, cum laude, from South Dakota State University and a J.D. from the University of South Dakota.